While the cold Calgary and Edmonton winters can be upsetting, we are here to encourage you that house hunting in the winter seasons can actually be beneficial! Spring and summer are indeed high times for sellers to list their properties, but that doesn’t mean the fall and winter months don’t have any inventory. The Calgary real estate market still wants your attention, even in the bitter cold! There are a few notable advantages to buying a house in the winter; keep reading to hear us out.
Prices can be lower during the cold months.
Although not true in every market, sometimes home prices are at their lowest during the winter. Knowing that winter tends to be the slowest time for real estate, sellers are aware that they may not get what they want for their home. If a homeowner decides they want or need to sell their house ASAP, and it’s anywhere between November and February, they can expect to price it according to the season; shopping for a home in the off-season can quite literally pay off for you!
There is less competition in the wintertime.
Moving in the winter is obviously not ideal. It’s cold, the roads are bad, and it’s hard to get friends out of their warm houses to help you. With that said, when fewer people look at homes and want to buy, you get more power to negotiate with eager sellers. The home you want may get 5+ offers in the spring or summertime, but in the winter, it may only get 1 or 2 offers, improving your chances of closing on your dream home! There is a difference between negotiating a couple of hundred dollars versus a couple of thousand dollars. If there are only a few buyers out there in the market, sellers have little choice when it comes to significant negotiations.
You see the home during the harshest season.
Winter in Calgary is no joke; it’s notoriously cold and callous. When buying a home in the spring or summer, a house is typically in its best, most superior condition. It is undoubtedly a disadvantage not to be able to see how a home will hold up with harsh snow, ice, and cold temperatures. How does the roof look for ice dams? What is the window draft like in the bedrooms? Is your driveway manageable to shovel for your lifestyle? What will the drive be like to work on snowy days? Does the city clear the roads outside of your home sufficiently? You should consider these things when you purchase a home in the winter; seeing your prospective home in the toughest season is a benefit not to be overlooked.
Professionals typically have more time in the winter.
There are many moving parts when it comes to buying a home. You need a REALTOR®, lawyer, inspector, movers, and mortgage lender, to name a few. We have found that business is always slower in the cold months, not just for us but for other professionals in the industry as well. Winter is an excellent time for buyers to get more one-on-one service from professionals, from movers to lawyers to inspectors. Although we have to say regardless of the season, our team at Realty Unleashed is committed to giving our clients the best service possible.
Some tips for buying in the winter months:
- It can be hard to get a feel for what the home looks like without it being covered in snow. Ask for some photos of the house in the spring or summer, so you know what to expect.
- If you are interested in a vacant home, the owners may have turned off the water, for example, making it difficult to spot potential issues. Ask for maintenance receipts and be aware of the problems and if they are ongoing. Also, you should always get a home inspection regardless of the season.
- Keep in mind that there can be delays during the holidays; if you are hoping to close on a property anytime before, after or around Christmas, be prepared for delays and keep in contact with your REALTOR® so that you know when its best to contact them and if there is anything you can do to move things along quicker.
We’re here to help!
Realty Unleashed is an independent real estate brokerage that serves both Edmonton and Calgary. We work with buyers and sellers in all seasons, and we take pride in the services we offer clients. While we are primarily a listing brokerage, we work with buyers all the time and love helping you find your new home. If you’re in the market for a real estate professional, you can reach out to us below, and our team will get back to you right away – and while you’re here, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!